The Burmese Buddha Mandalay style is the most decorative of all Buddha statues in Burma. The robe is often elaborately layered with three dimensional folds decorated with glass mosaics and delicate scroll work around the edges using thayo lacquer. The haircurls are usually indicated by small flattish nodules using thayo lacquer or carved into the stone for definition. This style is often seen with a straight nose, flared nostrils and a cleft in the centre of the top lip.
The use of glass mosaics can vary, some are fully decorated, others are seen with glass mosaics around the edges of the robe, lapel and sometimes the band across the forehead. Glass stones are also a feature of the Mandalay style Buddha statue, often forming medallions on the body and hairband.
Mandalay remained the capital of Burma for 26 years until the British conquered the city and exiled the last King of Burma and his queen to India.
Mandalay is the second largest city in Burma and became the royal capital in 1857 after King Mindon moved his palace from the then capital Amarapura to the foot of Mandalay hill. He built a library dedicated to the Buddhist scriptures and from this time Mandalay was referred to as the centre for Buddhist learning and considered to be the heart of Burma. It has also been referred to as the “City of Gems”.
The Burmese Mandalay style Buddha images are recognized by the full rounded usnisha on the top centre of the head, a wide face with features set well apart and child like, a narrow band across the top of the forehead which as a rule ends above the top of both ears or sometimes at the base of the temple. The Mandalay style Buddha can be seen in a standing, sitting or reclining pose.
The Mandalay Jambhupati Buddha statue is referred to as the royal king Buddha or royal crowned Buddha and is quite different in style to the traditional Mandalay Buddha statue.
Burmese Buddha Mandalay Style